Vaccines are an important preventive health measure, helping keep you, your children, and your community well. They work by stimulating your body’s immune system to recognize and attack different diseases and viruses.
Vaccines can be made using dead or weakened versions of the virus or bacteria or one or more parts of the virus or bacteria they’re targeting, like pieces of the DNA. They’re one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of serious diseases.
Unfortunately, myths about vaccines have circulated for years. At Beth and Howard Braver, MD, in Aventura and Hollywood, Florida, our physicians want to set the record straight. Keep reading to learn the truth behind some common myths about vaccinations.
Myth: Vaccines are made of dangerous ingredients
FACT: Vaccines only use ingredients that are safe for humans.
Vaccines are made using different substances, including ingredients that are toxic in large doses, like formaldehyde and aluminum. But the amounts used as preservatives in vaccines are so small that they’re not harmful to humans. In fact, your body produces formaldehyde.
If you’re allergic to an ingredient in a vaccine, like egg protein or gelatin, talk to your provider before getting inoculated.
Myth: Vaccinations cause autism
FACT: Study after scientific study has found no link between vaccines and autism.
This myth started in the late 1990s after a study was published that has since been retracted and proven wrong by many other scientific studies. Unfortunately, the myth continues to circulate.
Myth: Vaccines can hurt children’s immune systems
FACT: Children’s immune systems can handle multiple vaccines at one time.
Children are exposed to more antigens in their day-to-day environment than they are from vaccines. Their immune systems are resilient and designed to protect them. In addition, no scientific study has shown that spreading out vaccines is safer or more effective.
Myth: We don’t need vaccines for “dead” diseases
FACT: Only smallpox is truly “dead,” and the resurgence of once-rare diseases in recent years shows how important continuing vaccination is for your health and the health of your children.
It’s true that thanks to vaccinations, some diseases that were once common in America have been eliminated or are extremely rare (e.g., measles and chickenpox).
But in this increasingly connected world, these diseases are making a comeback in children who aren’t vaccinated, with sometimes lethal results.
The more people who are vaccinated against vaccine-preventable diseases, the safer everyone is. Protect yourself, your family, and your community by staying on top of your vaccinations.
Myth: It’s better to build immunity naturally
FACT: Vaccines provide a safe and more effective way to build immunity.
It’s true that you can develop some natural immunity to certain diseases after getting sick, but this can come at a high cost to your health. For example, before the measles vaccine, 400-500 Americans (mostly children) died from the disease every year.
With other diseases, getting vaccinated can mean you’re less sick if you contract the disease, helping you avoid costly medical expenses like hospitalization, prevent long-term health consequences, and get back to normal faster.
To learn more about vaccines or for personalized recommendations about which vaccines you or your child needs, schedule an appointment today with our team at Beth and Howard Braver, MD.